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Revisiting possibility of being fulfilled as SAHM

(4 Posts)
Lizita Fri 01-Jul-05 18:28:24

I’ve only just read through the original thread and was very impressed by some of the things that were said. I have been thinking a lot about the whole thing and wanted to contribute my thoughts, even though I doubt anyone will be revisiting this thread to read it (hence I have started a new one)!
Prufrock, I completely empathize with how you have been feeling. I was up and down a lot, mostly down, due to boredom, tedium, and grief over the loss of my old life and the old “me”. Having a boyfriend who isn’t my (nearly 2 year old) dd’s father and who I don’t live with (therefore not playing “father” either – though I don’t want him to, yet) didn’t help me because I felt I needed to continue to be the old “me” in order to keep him (we met before I had my dd, got together before I found out I was pregnant but he stuck with me…isn’t he amazing?) .
A month or so ago something clicked in me and I have been happy and content ever since. Touch wood this feeling lasts… I think the main thing that changed in me was that I realized that what was holding me back from being completely happy with my new life and a new me as a mum, was my reluctance to accept that my life had changed and that I was changing too. I always knew I had to accept what I had lost, but hadn’t made the next step to accept the new life.

As a parent, anything that comes after having children has to fit in with your new life. You and I will no doubt work again, but it won’t be in the self-defining way it was before. But that’s in the future, and we don’t need to worry about it yet – it’ll fit into our lives when it does happen.

Another reflection I had is that because raising kids isn’t a “job” and we don’t get paid for it – it is our life – I think we expect that we should be 100% happy doing it, and that we should have full control over what we do with our day. Someone said somewhere on this thread, we forget that when we were working there was a hell of a lot of tedium and drudgery involved then too. I agree, but when I was working, I could relax (to a certain extent!) at work when I wasn’t enjoying it because at least I had the rest of the time to enjoy myself. Our private lives, social lives etc, took place outside work hours without difficulty, but as a SAHM, actually as any type of mother, it is difficult to even lead the rest of your life outside those “work hours” because of having to organize babysitters etc! Being a mum is 24/7.

I think we have to accept that life with our kids won’t all be fun and games and joyful, but to treasure those moments that are. Besides, I also realized, I could spend the next 15 years of my life being miserable and wishing my life was otherwise, or I could throw myself into enjoying the time with my daughter and not be miserable. Easier said than done, but that message to myself has eventually got through!

With regards to needing results and affirmation, there’s no easy answer to that. But I will say that I felt I needed to moan and complain and find everything hard because our “jobs” as a mother (and I don’t really like using the word “job” for what we do) really isn’t recognized as being real hard work and really valuable, at least not as much as it should be! I felt I had to let everyone know how hard it is! Even some of this thread has frustrated me – even us as mothers aren’t aware of the fact that what we do is *the most important thing* that can be done for society. We are raising the next generation, and this society’s future depends on the work that we as parents do now! We have to learn to believe in ourselves.

A book I can recommend you read which really helped me affirm what I was doing is What Mothers Do by Naomi Stadlen.

TwoIfBySea Sat 02-Jul-05 00:05:57

Very well said!

Weatherwax Sat 02-Jul-05 09:13:20

Thank you it has helped. I'm currently looking at life as a SAHM with my last little one goining to school in Sept. That is another change. I can't be the person I once was because I have to be here when my two are not a school. But the being here and the after school work we do is so important too.

assumedname Sat 02-Jul-05 10:08:12

Good post Lizita.

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